By: Malik Khan
A common misconception about my relationship with Dr. Ismail Badjie is that it’s the product of a long-standing association. In truth, our connection was formed much more recently, on November 27, 2019, to be exact, when we took the photo below. Despite both of us residing in North Carolina, with me in Raleigh for over 18 years and Dr. Ismail in Charlotte, our paths never crossed due to the three-hour drive separating us.
Our journey began when I visited his pharmacy in late 2019. He had previously visited The Disruptive Lab, our innovation hub, and shared workspace, yet our schedules never aligned until that day. When we finally met, it was as if an unspoken understanding passed between us, a mutual recognition of shared visions and aspirations that resonated deeply within us both.
I celebrate Dr. Ismail not only for the personal bond we share but also for his vibrant energy, fearless spirit, and dedication to instigating change in his country and community. He is a force against complacency, challenging the outdated notion that “It has always been done this way, why change now?”
Our collaboration is a testament to the necessity of change. The current system in The Gambia is flawed, leaving its people disillusioned with the lack of alternatives. Dr. Ismail and I stand united to illuminate another path, to demonstrate that hope and progress lie ahead. We confront the resistance head-on, opposing those who prefer stagnation over progress, who advocate for resigned acceptance rather than dynamic action, especially in The Gambia.
By inviting Dr. Ismail as a speaker or thought leader during events or gatherings organized by The Disruptive Lab or PointClick, I seek to amplify his voice and vision. My aim is to inspire others to witness his truth, to heed his call, even if it unsettles them. His message, though it may be tough to accept, is a beacon of truth leading to The Gambia’s liberation.
I urge everyone to embrace our cause, a mission Dr. Ismail describes as “this Jihad” – a struggle for justice and improvement, not just for us but for the entirety of our beautiful, tiny nation. This struggle is our shared commitment, our crusade for the betterment of The Gambia.
To Dr. Ismail, I want to express this: “I see you, I hear you, and I am with you in every step of this noble struggle.” Your bravery and sacrifice are the pillars that support our shared vision. Your leadership, wisdom, and insight are invaluable in our pursuit of a brighter future for The Gambia. Together, we remain steadfast in our quest for progress and prosperity.